chapter  17
24 Pages

Value chain approaches to mechanization in cassava cultivation and harvesting in Africa Foundation (AATF), Kenya

ByGeorge Marechera, Grace Muinga, African Agricultural Technology

Value chain approaches to mechanization in cassava cultivation and harvesting in Africa George Marechera and Grace Muinga, African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Kenya

1 Introduction

2 The benefits of mechanization

3 Obstacles to mechanization by smallholders

4 The AATF cassava mechanization experience

5 Mechanized production options for cassava

6 Assessing the effectiveness of mechanization

7 Business models for giving farmers access to farm machinery

8 Conclusions

9 References

Cassava is a staple for 500 million people in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), accounting for 55% of the world’s cassava production. In Africa 93% of production is consumed as food (in contrast to Latin America and Asia where less than half is utilized for food consumption). Cassava is a basic staple food in SSA countries such as Nigeria, DR Congo, Angola, Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi. Although Nigeria is the largest cassava producer in the world with over 40 million metric tonnes, the output per unit area is still very low (7-12 tonnes/ha) even with improved varieties as compared to 23 tonnes/ha average in Asia. Although improved cassava varieties with high genetic yield potential of 60-80 tonnes are available, their yield level on farmers’ fields has remained very low due to inefficient production systems.